For years now I have been a very vocal advocate for gay rights. I certainly don’t hide my beliefs, nor have I ever had an issue with defending them…
…Yes, a lot of that comes from the fact that I love my son to the moon and back and he happens to be gay. So what? In a perfect world that wouldn’t even be relevant. In my world, it is entirely irrelevant. He is one of the most intelligent, loving and funny human beings that I know, and one of my all time favorite people to spend time with. He is a good human being and that is what matters.
Over the years I have spoken out against homophobic slurs and behavior to perfect strangers, acquaintances and even in the faculty room at work. I do not approach it in a confrontational manner; my primary goal is to educate people. Make no mistake though, if need be, I will get confrontational. Even the most general homophobic remark is a slight against my baby, and that just ain’t happenin’. I will not stand by and remain silent; I don’t care who you are.
Which leads me to the meat of today’s story. A few weeks back I was blindsided by what is truly the most reprehensible and painful display of homophobic behavior I have ever encountered personally. A family member, a close family member, had made the decision to write off my child and deny him of something that is rightfully his simply because he is gay. What. The. Hell. The one thing that I have never had any understanding of nor an ounce of patience for, is people who sever relationships with their children, grandchildren, siblings…whatever, because of their sexuality. I’m not going to lie, when it happened to my child (he wasn’t there for the discussion, only me) initially I didn’t say a word.
Why? I think quite simply because I couldn’t believe that it really happened; it took me some time to fully assimilate it. I also think that my silence was due in part to family dynamics and deeply ingrained childhood survival skills. I learned at a very young age that speaking up, speaking my truth, would inevitably lead to pain; emotional or physical depending on who was involved. In any case, honesty in regard to feelings led nowhere good.
But over the course of the last few weeks, it has been on my mind all day, every day, festering like some sort of poisoned wound. My son, my baby, my heart, had been brutally personally attacked, and I had said nothing. I had been hurt, but more importantly, so had my child. I had stayed away from the individual in question to try and get myself reined in, but when the opportunity to have a conversation presented itself the other day, all bets were off. You hear a lot about unleashing your inner child…ya, well I sat mine in the corner and put her in time out. I had grown up business to attend to.
This time, education was not my goal. No, confrontation was. There was no way that I could live with myself if I didn’t speak my truth. So I did. And I left nothing unsaid. There was really no attempt at defense from the other side except for the typical cherry-picked biblical rhetoric that I’ve come to abhor from self-described “Christians”. I am in no way disrespecting Christian beliefs. I do however have a problem with hypocrisy as well as those who hide behind their rhetoric and use it as reason to judge others.
Over the weekend I spoke to my lifelong bestie about the situation. She is devoutly Christian and also the mom of a gay son. It was interesting how her biblical interpretation differed so markedly. To me, she is proof that having Christian beliefs and being accepting and loving to all with zero judgement are not mutually exclusive.
Did the conversation change anything? No, not in the least. Did the other person have an epiphany and realize that my boy is the same human being as the little boy who used to worship the ground that he walked on? Nope. But am I now able to look at myself in the mirror? Yes, I am. And at the end of the day, that’s what really matters.
First of all, I apologize for doing back to back posts with the same jeans. I try to never do that, but I love them so much I’ve been wearing them all of the time and didn’t realize that I had no other shots to use. When I posted this on Instagram, I called it “country chic”. Between the braid, the flannel and the cornfield in the background I’m right on the edge of looking like the farmer’s slightly more mature daughter.
Since the temperatures have been leaning towards the cool side, a top layer over the ringer tank top was a must. I thought this lightweight red plaid flannel shirt was perfect. It kept me warm enough and when necessary, looked just as cute tied around my hips.
How about the shoes though?! The color is perfection. I found them on clearance at Payless, and since they are the same brand as my blue lace up sandals I figured they’d be comfortable, and I was right. I did add supportive insoles though because my foot is still not back to 100%…close, but not quite there yet.
Light layers are key when the seasons are changing. That way you can add and subtract as needed throughout the day. I always like to make sure that my top layer is something that I can tie around my hips because not only do I like that look, but I tend to lay things down (glasses anyone?) and then forget where I put them.
THE LINK UPS
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